The Daily Dose/January 8, 2016
By Gaylon Kent
The Writer's Shack
Notes from around The Human Experience...
THE WORLD IS GOING TO HELL AND YOU'RE TALKING ABOUOT SPORTS: The Golden State Warriors recent winning streak - 28 regular season games from the end of last season, through their 24-0 start this season - got us thinking about the winning streak they were chasing, the 33 games the Los Angeles Lakers won in 1971-71 and whether or not that record will ever be topped.
It's always fun to discuss records that will never be broken, and some lists have an awful lot of records on them. Our own theory is that if something can be done once, it can probably be done again, and probably surpassed. Us humans are bigger, stronger and faster than they were even a generation ago, and our list of records that we feel will never be broken is rather short.
Whoa There, Cowboy: You got to be careful because never means never ever. The list is not one of sports records that might never be broken, but of records that will never be broken. A lot of people thought Lou Gehrig's consecutive game playing streak would never be broken, but not only was it surpassed, Cal Ripken, Jr. took the old record and stuffed it in his back pocket, so we thought long and hard about whether the Lakers record belongs on the list.
Standard Internet Disclaimer: It should be noted our list does not include records from bygone eras. For example, Will White's 1879 major league record of 683 innings pitched in a season is not on the list because pitchers no longer pitch every day.
Hut, Hut, Hike: Similarly, Georgia Tech's 222-0 football win over Cumberland is left off, too, because college football teams no longer play games against colleges that disbanded their team the previous season. It also does not include small college and minor league records, either.
Now Hear This: Currently, we have two records on our list: Wilt Chamberlain's 1960 mark of 55 rebounds in an NBA game and the 70-68 5th set John Isner and Nicolas Mahut played in the opening round at Wimbledon in 2010.
Chamberlain's record might not be on everyone's list because he did not completely obliterate the old record of 51 set by Bill Russell the previous season, but we got over that. Since 1973 no one has had more than 37 rebounds in a game and this century only two people - Kevin Love and, of all people, Andrew Bynum - have had more than 30 rebounds. To top this mark someone would have to get a rebound every minute and then find eight more lying around somewhere. This record is safe.
This Really Happened: Five-and-a-half years after it happened, the Isner/Mahut record is still barely believable. A 70-68 set is something you fantasize about as a kid, knocking the ball around with a buddy on a court at the local high school:
Dude! We're at Wimbledon! It's 68-68!
Get out of here! That'll never happen!
It did happen though, over the course of eleven hours spread over three days. 70-68 is so improbable the set itself would qualify as the longest match in tennis history. It was not reasonable to think it would happen once, much less happen again. This record is safe, too.
Missed It By That Much: There were some records that were tough to leave off, like Johnny Vander Meer's consecutive no-hitters, Harvey Haddix's 36 consecutive batters retired in one game and Don Huston's 29 points in one quarter of an NFL game.
But never means never and, someday, someone somewhere might well do these things, just like one day an NBA player is likely to go completely insane and score 101 points in a game. One day someone will win more Olympic gold medals than Michael Phelps and a pitcher who stays healthy and has a good bullpen behind him may well win 512 major league games someday.
Get Your Official Writer's Shack Policy Right Here: And someday some team will win 34-consecutive games.
NO, REALLY, WE'RE MONKS: Francois Grimaldi, dressed as a monk, captures the fortress on the Rock of Monaco on this date in 1292. The Grimaldi's still rule Monaco - one the world's smallest countries - today, though they are not directly descended from Francois, who was chased off the rock four years later. His cousin would get it back, however, and the family would later purchase the land from the French, who had lost interest in it.
Great Moments In National Spending: The national debt of the United States is $0.00 for the first time in history on this date in 1835. Andrew Jackson was president, and when he had taken office six years earlier the national debt had been $58 million, about $1.6 billion in today's dollars.
America would fluctuate between being in debt and not being in debt for about a year, before going back into debt permanently.
Well, That Didn't Work: A strike by union steel workers that began the previous September ends in victory for the steel mills on this date in 1920.
The strike was a complete failure for the union, which had seen members start crossing picket lines months earlier.
We're Serious This Time: President Lyndon Johnson declares war on poverty on this date in 1963. Though Johnson's programs did continue a decline in poverty numbers that had begun 1959, there are still Americans that do not make enough money or have enough to eat.
Gaylon For US Senate: Vote Early, Vote Often: We talked about this on the campaign trail last year: no government program will ever change this either. The very best safety net is an economy anchored in low taxes and free markets and even then that is not going to solve everything because every society - from time immemorial through today - had and has those who are unwilling or unable to provide for themselves. It's the way the world is built.
Thought For The Day: You yourselves have made these men great by giving them your support and that is why you have fallen into evil slavery. For you look to the tongue and words of a crafty man, and you do not see the deed which is being done. - Gore Vidal, Creation
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Cheryl Mills was President Bill Clinton's attorney for his trial by the United States Senate.
Today's Stumper: Which major league pitcher holds the record for most innings pitched in a season this century? - Answer next time!
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